In the movie, Steppenwolf is shown the location of Anti-Life by the Mother Boxes. When Steppenwolf tells Darkseid of his discovery, the big bad takes far more of an interest in the proceedings on Earth – though thousands of years previously, Darkseid arrived on the planet and discovered the Anti-Life Equation himself.
Snyder explained the villain's apparent forgetfulness on Vero: "He almost died when he returned to [Apokolips, Darkseid's planet] he was in a fight for power and much time passed before he was in a position of power again and by then all who had been with him had been Slayed."
Ayoo, I didn't see this but Zack answered why Darkseid forgot the Anti-Life was on earth. pic.twitter.com/MNxhHdjdZSMarch 26, 2021
We see Darkseid almost killed by David Thewlis' Ares in the History Lesson sequence of the movie, and Wonder Woman explains that, as the invading forces beat a hasty retreat from the combined armies of Earth, the Mother Boxes were accidentally left behind.
In fact, Wonder Woman's description of the Mother Boxes powering down also helps explain why Darkseid lost sight of Anti-Life: "They grew weak, dogs without masters. Falling asleep, awaiting their return. Fading from the view of the enemy, anonymous among a trillion worlds." In the Snyder Cut, Superman's death awakens the boxes – and so brings Earth back into Apokolips' crosshairs.
Snyder has said that Justice League 2 and 3 would have seen the Knightmare timeline come to pass – Darkseid conquers Earth, and Superman succumbs to his mind-control via the Anti-Life Equation after Lois Lane's death. The second movie would have focused on the surviving heroes trying to send Flash back in time to the exact right moment to prevent the Knightmare unfolding, while the third film would have seen the armies of Earth unite to take on Darkseid once more.
While it seems unlikely Justice League 2 and 3 will ever see the light of day, if you're caught up on all four hours of the Snyder Cut, you can check out our deep dives into the movie below – and find out how to watch DC movies in order for the ultimate movie marathon.
- What would have happened in Zack Snyder's Justice League post-credits?
- The biggest differences between Zack Snyder's Justice League and Joss Whedon's
- The biggest Easter eggs in Zack Snyder's Justice League
- What happened to Ben Affleck's canceled Batman movie?
- Zack Snyder's Justice League aspect ratio explained
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